Browse Tag

northwest spain

Drink up, or Elsa

[hacienda elsa]Hacienda Elsa 2003 Bierzo (Northwest Spain) — Mencia’s dried flowers on full display, with an only semi-leaden thud of overweighted structure. But while there’s more resolution in store, I think the fruit will die before that’s finished. As European 2003s go, this is one of the good ones. (8/16)


Perez “Guimaro” 2010 Ribeira Sacra (Northwest Spain) – Mencia. Chewy red fruit warmed ever-so-slowly over the gentle burn of low red embers. Just a bit funky. (4/12)

Enea port in a storm

Egia Enea 2008 Bizkaiko Txakolina (Northwest Spain) – A blend of hondarrabi zuri zerratia and hondarrabi zuri. Unfortunately, also quite heavily oxidized. Since I can’t imagine this was the intent, I’m going to chalk it up to either cork or storage failure. (3/12)

Guimaro, Guimaro, I love ya’, Guimaro

Guimaro 2010 Ribeira Sacra (Nothwest Spain) – Vibrant, vivacious, and thoroughly alive. Heavily-spiced red fruit fireworks, beyond fully tangible and very nearly enflamed, with cymbal hisses and mutings that jerk the palate hither and fro in a most exciting fashion. As one might be able to tell despite the histrionic metaphor-mixing, I adore this wine. (10/11)

Not Dutch cheese

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “Abadia de San Campio” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Fully oxidized and undrinkable. (8/11)

Terras Gauda 2004 Rías Baixas “O Rosal” Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Beyond oxidized and worse than undrinkable. (8/11)


Xarmant 2009 Txakoli (Northwest Spain) – Ripe lime/lemon/grapefruit flavors than the norm, but with a whip-lash of sour acidity that tarts everything right up. Brief fizz at the outset is quickly subdued by heavier wetness. (6/11)

Mein chance

Viña Mein 2001 Ribeiro (Northwest Spain) – While this has acquired the depth of age, it hasn’t required any actual content to that depth. Then again, I didn’t have it at release, so maybe this is all there ever was. Hollow bronze and gilding; a canister of a wine, rather than the wine itself. It’s not without interest, but it’s a brief intellectual dalliance. Nothing more. (5/11)

On the Mendi

Itsas Mendi 2009 Bizkaiko Txakolina Txakoli “Aihen” (Northwest Spain) – Heavy. I know, it seems absurd to say that about a txakoli, and of course I mean it contextually, but it is heavy. A little heavier than I’d like, frankly. Whitewashed fruit (citrus? lime and grapefruit, maybe, but so blanched it’s hard to tell) and white-walled beachfront housing – yes, I’m aware that isn’t such an easy description to understand, but it’s what this wine makes me think of – blasted by sandstone and empty wind. But it’s just too gravitic for its own good. In a lineup of, say, chardonnays, it would be biting and crisp. But in its own context, I’d prefer a little more zip. Zing. Life. Fun. Any of the above. (9/10)

Laxas, praxis

Laxas 2009 Rias Baixas Albariño (Northwest Spain) – Pure juice. Lime, grapefruit, a bit of gooseberry, bitter orange, pear. Spirited acidity. But those who believe that “a wine should taste like fruit” will love this. (2/11)

Xil out

Telmo Rodriguez “Gaba do Xil” 2007 Valdeorras Godello (Northwest Spain) – Quite vibrant, pacing somewhere between a bronzed firmness and an abandoned, yet two-dimensional, still life of beach living. Quite flavorful, but never tripping over itself into a stumbling, clumsy drunkenness. Fun, but a slightly more sophisticated version thereof. (10/10)